Binary file handling discussion

Hanns-Steffen Eichenberg scameronde at
Fri Nov 3 19:52:39 GMT 2006

On 03 Nov 2006 21:24:14 +0200, Jari Aalto <jari.aalto at> wrote:
> Nicholas Allen <allen at> writes:
> > The way CVS does it is really bad and it often
> > makes mistakes by assuming that all files are text files unless the
> > user specifies that they are binary (and often users forget this). So
> > CVSs policy is one of data destruction by default and I do not think
> > this would be a good idea for bzr!
> I understood that a VCS is primary for text files and only secondary
> used for binary files
> CVS way of assuming text by default is for the typical situation and
> explicitly marking other types of files as binary is logical.

In more than 15 years of corporate software development i have not
encountered one project without binary files in the repository.
Most of the time these files are Word documents (specifications) or Excel
(example data from customers, formulas, ...), not to forget all the GIF,
PNGs and
Photoshop files you need for web projects. And if you ever messed up a
history of files, because you forgot to set Photoshop to binary, you would
wish for
binary being the default :-)

The point i totally agree with you is not to hard wire any 'clever'
defaults. Have just
one default - binary or source - and let the rest up to the project using
bzr. I do remember
one project where they had '.asm' files. I thought they are ASCII files
containing assembler
code, but they were binary files containing information about assemblies.
Much room for nasty

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